Three-dimensional atomic mapping of ligands on palladium nanoparticles by atom probe tomography

Kyuseon Jang, Se Ho Kim, Hosun Jun, Chanwon Jung, Jiwon Yu, Sangheon Lee, Pyuck Pa Choi

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18 Scopus citations


Capping ligands are crucial to synthesizing colloidal nanoparticles with functional properties. However, the synergistic effect between different ligands and their distribution on crystallographic surfaces of nanoparticles during colloidal synthesis is still unclear despite powerful spectroscopic techniques, due to a lack of direct imaging techniques. In this study, atom probe tomography is adopted to investigate the three-dimensional atomic-scale distribution of two of the most common types of these ligands, cetrimonium (C19H42N) and halide (Br and Cl) ions, on Pd nanoparticles. The results, validated using density functional theory, demonstrate that the Br anions adsorbed on the nanoparticle surfaces promote the adsorption of the cetrimonium cations through electrostatic interactions, stabilizing the Pd {111} facets. In contrast, the Cl anions are not strongly adsorbed onto the Pd surfaces. The high density of adsorbed cetrimonium cations for Br anion additions results in the formation of multiple-twinned nanoparticles with superior oxidation resistance.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4301
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2021

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